The secret selling ingredient, Pt. 2
Most people come to us because they have a problem or problems to solve. The question is, how to deliver the bad news without making people feel bad and lowering their self-esteem.
In my previous article, I suggested that, like the secret ingredient in a great tomato sauce — the ingredient that makes that sauce hum — there is a secret ingredient in selling that will make your selling hum, as well.make a change. Clients may be experiencing any or all of these feelings:
1. Fearful that something in the future will upset their apple cart
2. Disappointed that they have not gotten something that they want
3. Unsure who they can trust
4. Don't like change
Most people come to us because they have a problem or problems to solve. While it is easy to tell people their problems, it is equally as easy to make them feel bad about their previous decisions that got them into their current situation. When people are made to feel bad about their decisions, then they will hesitate or feel insecure about making the next decision with you. When they feel good about themselves, even if their decisions were not the best, they will be more likely to make a positive decision about whatever you recommend. The question is, how to deliver the bad news without making people feel bad and lowering their self-esteem.
The key is to build a high level of client nurturing into all of your selling.
Ask yourself, how you would tell your 90-year-old grandparent bad news? What would be the quality of your voice; what words would you choose; what intonations? Would you hammer her with the bad news? Would you do anything to make her feel bad? Certainly not! And that’s the way you need to nurture your clients. Here’s what to do:
1. Always let the client know the decision they made was the best they could have made.
Think about it. No one ever believes that they make bad decisions. If they did, they wouldn't make them. When people make decisions, in that moment, with the information they have on hand, with the emotions that they have percolating inside them, they are, indeed, making the very best decisions they could make. Sure, that decision might not work out well, but when the decision was made, that was not the expectation. It might sound something like this:
“Frank and Alice, I know that this is not working out as well as you would like it to, but I want you to know that under the circumstances, you made the very best decisions you could have made.”
When you give people a more positive sense of themselves, a lot of good things can happen — clients feel better, they stop criticizing each other, they are more open to advice.
2. Let people know what is going to happen to them.
You are going to tell someone that their asset allocation is very poor. You could start this way:
“Frank and Alice, I’d like to share some information with you that you might not like. Is that OK with you?”
Or, let’s say that your clients are going to be short on income:
“Frank and Alice, while I know you have done the very best you can for yourselves, you are trying to scare people, to bludgeon them with all the things wrong with their finances, to criticize their decisions, actually work more against your making a sale than helping to make the sale. When you protect and build your clients’ self-esteem, you will have added the secret ingredient to all selling — the ingredient that will take your sales further than you can imagine.